Giving Up Wheat
The Low FODMAP diet requires you to go wheat free. Not gluten free, wheat free. Now, I'd done this before a few years ago when we weren't quite sure what was wrong with me. I did a whole year gluten/wheat free, and I definitely think it helped a little bit, but when I was tested for a gluten intolerance, I was coming out fine (I was eating wheat when I was tested to make the test accurate, don't worry!). So when I went back on the Low FODMAP diet, it was a bit upsetting to have to give up wheat again. Lets not kid ourselves, it's difficult. We live in SUCH a wheat dependent society. Now I was no longer the "dairy free girl" but now the "gluten/wheat/dairy/onion/garlic/honey/omgeverything free girl." That's pretty daunting and upsetting, especially when all your friends want to go out for dinner or lunch. It can make things really quite hard!
But when you've got no choice, you do what you gotta do. I'm not going to lie, I found giving up wheat quite easy. The truth is that I didn't eat a huge amount of wheat anyway. Tom does, but I don't. And when I cook dinner at night, I've always done lots of quinoa and rice. The only thing that's been tricky is when I wake up, haven't made overnight oats, and need to eat something quick! Usually the go to is toast, right? Well, gluten free toast isn't great (and it's pretty bad for you - we'll get to that later), so I try to avoid it as much as I can.
I've gotten pretty used to it now. I read a fascinating book a few weeks ago called Wheat Belly which really opened my eyes to the problems that wheat can cause our bodies. I won't go into too much detail, because you might as well just read the book, but to summarise, William Davis, the author of the book, is a cardiologist and noticed a correlation between people who cut down on wheat, and heart problems. That was the initial realisation and once he began to study it all further, he began to realise that the more people cut down on wheat, the more other health problems vanished as well. It's all to do with spikes in blood sugar, and studies show that wheat causes our blood sugars to soar through the roof. The worst part? Flours used to substitute for gluten containing flours (like Rice flour, tapioca flour) cause our blood sugar levels to go even higher than standard wheat does! It blew my mind.
I'm now on the reintroduction phase of the Low FODMAP diet, and it's been a very slow process so far. Suffice to say that when I tested myself against wheat as a reintroduction of high FODMAP foods, I wasn't too upset to know that I have a bad reaction to wheat. I got really ill! It was scary how quickly, and how badly I reacted.
So what am I doing to replace wheat in my life? Buckwheat pasta is my saviour! It's the nicest form of pasta I've found. I recommend it really highly. I've also had a go at making my own bread, which is photographed here. This bread is from Madeleine Shaw's "Get The Glow" book, which I rave about all the time. Not only is it really yummy, but her recipe is already low FODMAP! I can't take any claim over the recipe though, so I'm afraid I won't be sharing it here. You can buy the book here. I've also embraced quinoa even more, and had a go at cooking with coconut flour as well as buckwheat flour. It's a learning process, for sure! It takes getting used to, and it takes a lot of planning ahead. I can't go out to work in the morning without a lunch to eat, because if I do, the likelihood is I won't find much to eat in the local supermarket!
One things for sure though; I feel better without it.
Have you given up wheat? How do you cope with it? I'd love to hear from you!